The Ford Endeavour has been with us for almost a decade now. Although it did quite well with its large American truck like appeal in the early years of its life cycle, there have recently been a spate of SUVs that have taken over its segment with a set of more modern looks, dynamics and overall appeal. Can the updated 2014 Ford Endeavour inject some much needed adrenaline into what is a seemingly passé SUV? Read on..
Although Ford has tried to soften up the looks of the Endeavour, the big bulky and aggressive look will always remain. The Figo-esque lamps combined with the family slimmer grille combined with a trapezoidal intake have made its way to the Endeavour too. Although the Ford Endeavour looks much less boxy due to this slight facelift, strangely, there does seem to be some sort of mismatch. The design does slowly grow onto you though although the absence of a projector headlamp, daytime running lamps is certainly missed.
The new wheels though looks really smart and go well along with both the older bulky appeal and the newer smoothened out lines of the new Endeavour.
Interior & space
For a car that measures over five meters in length, there will never really be a shortage of interior space. The new seats although quite comfortable carry on with the Endeavour’s tradition of lower seating positions as compared to other cars in the market. The seats also offer a tad bit less under thigh and lower back support than we would have liked. The dashboard design in general too is far too outdated when compared to the likes of the Toyota Fortuner or the Ssangyong Rexton.
Although Ford claims that the interior of the Endeavour has been facelifted, we never really found much that pointed out the same. Steering mounted controls are now available though, although conspicuously, they are absent on the top of the line four-wheel-drive model. What really disappointed us though was overall build quality of the Endeavour. Comparatively, cars like the Figo, Fiesta and Ecosport feel well put together.
Features & Equipment
The Ford Endeavour may have the testosterone filled appeal that might appeal a certain class of people in India but it does sorely lack in terms of overall equipment. Yes, the touch screen infotainment system has functions like GPS navigation, a DVD player and Bluetooth connectivity but it also has an operating system that would look at home on a Windows 98 powered computer. That said, the Endeavour does come with a good set of speakers that give great output irrespective of what genre you decide to play.
The same can be said about the reversing camera that seems to come into play even when you shift from Park to Drive. The Endeavour does come with roof mounted rear AC vents, which are absolutely necessary considering the cavernous interior.
Ride and ease of driving
Fords are known to be some of the best handling vehicles available in the country today. The Endeavour strangely, defies the notion. Of course, driving such a behemoth in a city like Mumbai is never an easy task (which is why we took the Endeavour to the beach for a play date), the Endeavour does feel particularly cumbersome. One might attribute that to its 2-ton Kerb weight though.
The Endeavour was never a particularly soft car when it came to ride quality, and the same continues. That said, it does not feel as bouncy and uncomfortable in the city, especially with a bunch of passengers and luggage in it.
Engines & performance
The Ford Endeavour comes with two engine options. The rear wheel drive or 4x2 version gets a 143PS 2.5-litre, 4-cylinder, turbo diesel engine mated to a 5-speed manual transmission. On the other hand, the 5-speed automatic powered 4x2 and 4x4 versions get a larger and more powerful 3.0-litre, turbo diesel engine. This engine, with 156PS of peak power and a staggering 380Nm of peak torque is extremely responsive and really makes the Endeavour pull like a train on full steam.
That said, the 5-speed autobox does feel a little slow and could certainly do with a more updated TCM package. The 4x4 version also comes with a low range option with selectable 1st, 2nd and 3rd gear options to aid when the going gets tough.
Handling & braking
The good engine and corresponding off road abilities are let down by the way the Endeavour handles. Don’t get us wrong, it isn’t a particularly bad handling car once you really get the hang of it, in fact, it can reward the half-decent driver with some spectacular moves on loose surfaces, but on the whole, a lot can still be made better. Take the steering box for instance. The power steering not only feels heavier than it should, it also has an uncanny ability to want to snap back into the straight position earlier than it needs to. This is a particular annoyance while parking or while making a U-turn.
The Ford Endeavour does come with satisfactory brakes though, which is good considering how much this large SUV actually weighs. There is a tad bit of nervousness under heavy emergency braking though but that is something that can be expected of a two ton automobile.
Price and Fuel efficiency
Priced at Rs 23.5 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi), the Endeavour falls right in melle of other similar testosterone pumper SUVs that intend to make a mark. The Ford Endeavour’s biggest rivals, the Toyota Fortuner, the Mitsubishi Pajero Sport and the Ssangyong Rexton all fall in the same price bracket and do offer much more refinement, gadgetry and overall comfort than the Endeavour currently does.
Ford claims a fuel efficiency figure of 11.4kmpl (according to ARAI), but then, real life figures are expected to be a tad lower.
The Ford Endeavour has been with us for over a decade and not much has changed since. The Endeavour does however appeal to the little kid in us who wants a full size version of the little Tonka Toy we had as a kid. With typically American largeness, the Endeavour does have a potentially terrifying presence on the street.
So does the current Endeavour have what it takes to cut it against the likes of the mighty Fortuner? Probably not. But lets not discount the old girl just yet. The Ford Endeavour might not have the refinement, comfort and the gadgets that its competition has but it still has a ‘wow factor’ that we just cannot explain. That said, what we are really looking forward to is Ford’s next generation Endeavour that not only promises to look and perform better but also give the customer way more value for money than its rivals.
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